Dear daddy, whoever, and wherever you are:
I am your daughter. This is unknown to you because of the circumstances that got me here.
Many years ago, I discovered that the man who called himself “my father” wasn’t of blood relation after all. It wasn’t a huge surprise really. I’d heard the jokes that I was “the milkman’s baby”. How I didn’t look like anyone in my family except for my mom and my great grandmother on her side.
I knew deep down that the vast difference in resemblance to my only sister wasn’t just a biological anomaly.
Then it was confirmed that I was fathered by you and not “him”.
Another part of me was relieved because “my father” really wasn’t a father at all. He was a selfish, poor excuse for a father, if I ever saw one. He was never really around and left our upbringing up to my mom and grandparents. When he was around, he was even worse (and it could get worse). Finding out I had no real blood ties to him, helped me begin to feel better about all the ways he’d failed miserably as a parent.
Ever since then, I’ve wondered about you. Wondered what you looked like, wished my mother had a picture of you somewhere.
The day I was told you were my father, I was told you were also dead, and had no knowledge of me.
This broke my heart because I wanted you to know you had a daughter. Being a young adult, I didn’t expect us to ever form a traditional “father-daughter” bond at that point, but I thought we deserved to know each other.
I am told that you were a “mean person with a hard look”. I am certain deep down in my soul, that you weren’t as bad as I’ve been told you were. Otherwise, my mother would have never given you the time of day. Even the man who calls himself “my father” had his good points. I know that I’m told these things because for some reason, your identity is being kept from me.
Every question I ask, is countered with a bulletproof answer, conveniently. As if knowing you were a bad person would discourage me from wanting to know you, possibly love you.
Please. My intelligence is insulted at the mere idea.
I wonder if I’m your only kid. If perhaps you really were like they say you were, and then found that you had a child, would it have made your heart a little softer?
I’ve seen fatherhood change some people for the better. I’m sorry you were never given that chance with me.
I had so many questions I wanted to ask you: Did I get my blue-green eyes from you? My dimples? My ginormous forehead? Did I get my love of music from you? What was your favorite color? Did you always feel like you were a “freak” too? Do you love to read? Because I am the only bookworm in my family.
Do you know that I feel half-empty most of the time because I don’t know anything about you? Do you know that I feel lost because a part of me is unknown to myself?
Had you been given the opportunity to know me; would you have been a good father? Would you have come to visit, taken me to the park, kissed my “boo-boo’s”, held me when I cried, been protective of me, worried about how the world would disappoint me?
Who knows? You may have been just as much a deadbeat as the man who call himself “my father”. But we’ll never know will we?
I hope you believe in an afterlife, because I do, and it looks like I’ll have to wait for that to finally see you. To look into the eyes that I think probably mirror mine, and feel happiness because I’m finally standing in front of the man who helped get me here.
I like to think I’ve done pretty well for myself; that you’d be proud of me. I’ve been through a lot in my life, but overall; was raised to be a respectful, kind, and decent human being. I love to sing, I love to read, I love the fine arts, I’m extremely quirky, I love animals, and I think I have a remarkable ability to see the humor in almost anything. Oh my God, do I love to laugh. Did I get my sense of humor from you too?
As I get older, I know that I’ll eventually feel full-up. At least I hope so. I have to believe that you’re out there somewhere feeling an “emptiness” too. Or perhaps watching over me, having all the feelings you should have been able to express to me here on earth.
Either way, know that no matter who you are, what kind of person you were, I’m your daughter for better or worse. And I will think about you every day of my life and wish we’d been given the opportunity to know each other.